Photo courtesy of Johnny Silvercloud

Suns out, buns out; literally. Along with the semester’s final responsibilities comes the mood to soak up some sun. And along with that comes the incentive to bite into a cucumber and live a “healthy” lifestyle to reach “beauty.” You know, flat stomachs, flawless skin and whatever else the mainstream media dishes out concerning the summertime look.

I’m here to dump all of that down the drain, because mainstream beauty is nothing but an airbrushed social construction. Our ideas about beauty and health have been shaped by unrealistic notions of true self. Skin naturally creates pimples, stomachs naturally roll over clothing and stretch marks are nature’s finest tattoo. It deeply saddens me to overhear conversations about strict workout regimens and tasteless diets all in the name of looking good. I’m not knocking living healthy lifestyles in any way, but they should only be carried out in the name of self-love.

If your idea of self-love is lounging poolside, scarfing a juicy burger while disregarding calorie count or blending a kale smoothie and watching the sunrise because it makes you smile, you’re conquering your idea of summer.

Summertime fine comes in all shapes, sizes, calorie intakes and skin types. Over the years, with the curves of my own body came the growing insecurity of the stretch marks that followed, and one day when the sun was shining bright and the pool was calling my name, I thought to myself “who the hell cares?”

Who the hell cares if I crave Bluebell sometimes and salad at other times? I don’t mind if my stomach appears bloated in a picture that captures a moment of true happiness. I learned to love my stretch marks because they make me Kimiya. Had I been short a stretch mark, I might have loved myself that much less.

Bite into that burger, damn it. Wear whatever the hell you want. Body positivity is a healthy lifestyle. Individual DNA sequences and distinguishing characteristics of nature attest so do you and love yourself while doing it.

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